Christopher Gutsche, NCARB, Architect, LEED AP

Making News

Jan 12

The “Soul” Qualities of Material and Place

What are the buildings we never tear down? As Rome was sacked and empire fell, the Coliseum and other magnificent structures were used as stone quarries for new buildings. Yet the Pantheon was preserved? The Hagia Sophia, since 537, has been a Greek Orthodox cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral, a mosque, and is now a museum, preserved over the course of nearly 1,500 years. In 1925, architect Le Corbusier unveiled Plan Voisin, a vision to demolish two square miles of downtown Paris and build eighteen cruciform glass office towers, placed on a rectangular grid. Instead, the area to be destroyed, including the 3rd and 4th arrondissements on the right bank of the Seine, is today known for its organic nature and intrinsic beauty, and is among the most architecturally significant neighborhoods in the city.

These places and so many others, great and small, have qualities beyond function, qualities that evoke a deep and universal appreciation, places that touch the soul. Each generation recognizes this and carries if forward to the next with love and devotion. A piece of sustainability is longevity, not just well built but designed and built with the qualities that will keep it alive through generations. Bring soul into your life by design.